Multistressed families in Singapore: A focus on transnational families

Marcus Y. L.Chiu, Corinne Ghoh, Gerard Chung, Kwok P. Choi - Children and Youth Services Review


Families under multiple stresses present a challenge that requires coordinated multiple helping hands. Drawing on the baseline data, this paper profiles >200 multistressed families (MF) who entered into a specific enhancement programme in Singapore and compares the sociodemographies, family functioning and resilience of the children between transnational and non-transnational families. Findings show these transnational families have significantly older fathers, greater age difference between spouses, more fathers unemployed, and have significantly more needs related to system barriers. Although their youths do not have a lower resilience when compared to the non-transnational group, the overall resilience level of the youths from MF is significantly lower than that of the normative youths. Family income and number of system needs are found significantly correlated with both family cohesion and family flexibility. Multilevel regression with variables controlled shows that being a male and those with high family flexibility will predict a better youth resilience. Discussion and recommendation are made on the unique context of Singapore and possible ways to improve family flexibility in the Asian context.